Sorghum beer and Superbowl snacks

 

Beautiful.

Beautiful.

Either you’re a football fan, so you’ll want beer this Sunday, or you don’t like football but were invited to a Superbowl party anyway, so you’ll need to drink to keep yourself entertained.

My heart broke a little when I realized I couldn’t eat gluten. No more beer— ever?I looove dark beer— Guinness in particular— and a lifetime of quaffing cider and wine just wasn’t going to cut it. Luckily, there are some breweries out there who’ve taken up the challenge to make tasty yet wheat-less beer.

And I’ve been on a hunt for good gluten-free beer. A gentle warning: gluten-free beer tends to be pricier than their gluteny counterparts. Trust me, though, it’s worth spending $6-7 on a quality glass of good tasting beer.beer

Imports

Green’s

It was a blessing and a curse the day I discovered Green’s beer. Three different beers— an amber ale, a Belgian-style one and a dark beer— and each one is wonderful. Their Dubbel Dark Beer has a lovely malty flavor, and it’s the only dark, gluten-free beer I’ve been able to find (in the state of Michigan.) If you can get your hands on any of these beers, grab ‘em. They’re worth it.

 

St. Peter’s

This UK-based brewery does two gluten-free beers: a pilsner-style beer and a dark sorghum beer. I’m in love with their sorghum beer, almost more than Green’s. Dark and flavorful, this beer has a full-bodied taste, and even foams up, just like a proper beer should.

Brunehaut 
Though it doesn’t say gluten-free on the label, don’t miss this one. Their Bio Blonde is a lovely ale, it has a great taste and foams up just like a wheat beer. In fact, if I didn’t know this was a gluten-free beer, I never woulda guessed.

St. Peter's dark sorghum beer.

St. Peter’s dark sorghum beer.

Hitachino 

If you can track down a bottle of their red rice ale, do it. Full-bodied and flavorful, and not at all sweet, this beer is worth the sticker price. You may have to ask for it by name, though— most bartenders don’t seem to realize it’s gluten-free.

At Great Lake's Coffee in Detroit.

At Great Lake’s Coffee in Detroit.

Domestic

New Planet
Brewed in Colorado, their Tread Lightly Ale seems a bit lighter than most ales, but has a great crisp flavor. A little hint of sweetness, but still a nice, smooth beer. If you like fruity beers, their raspberry ale has a nice bite to it. Also, their new Belgian Ale has a lovely smooth flavor. (I’m less thrilled with their Amber Ale, as it’s slightly sour.)

Bard’s

This really reminds me of an IPA. Who knew a fussy-sounding grain like sorghum could taste so hoppy? Only problem is how easy it is to chug this beer.

Dogfish Head Tweason’ale 

By happy accident, I found a couple of four-packs of this at Horrocks in Lansing.  Though I’m usually not much for sweet beers, this crisp beer had lovely touches of strawberry, without being cloying at all. Sadly, it’s a seasonal beer, but keep your eyes open for it in spring and summer.

Avoid
New Grist
This was the first gluten-free beer I had, and blah. It’s so completely, utterly, unlike beer, I don’t know why it’s called beer. The taste reminds me of a diet hard cider: vaguely sweet, but just doesn’t taste like much of anything.

Redbridge
Budweiser makes this one, which is probably why I’ve seen it on the menu at so many places. Like their gluten beers, this gluten-free brew isn’t terrible, but it’s not great. It tastes like their other beers, which ain’t saying much.

NGB Gluten Free Lager

I saw this beer on the shelf at Trader Joe’s, and eagerly snatched it up. Luckily, I only bought one, because this stuff is sickly sweet and has a dull peanut-butter aftertaste.

Omission beer

I bought this stuff, thinking I could drink it. Sadly, it’s brewed with some high-tech process that’s supposed to remove all traces of gluten… well, not really. It’s just supposed to bring the gluten down to an acceptable level. But if you’re at all sensitive to gluten, why risk it? Especially when the flavor is only so-so.

My quest for good gluten-free beer is still ongoing, so if you know of a good brew I’ve missed, let me know in the comments!

And though I haven’t tried this recipes myself, if you need vegan game day munchies, these Sriracha habanero buffalo wings look amazing. And who can resist oven fries?

And I have been compiling a list of Michigan-brewed gluten-free beers— and once I’ve conducted the proper taste-tests, I’ll post the reviews!

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4 responses to “Sorghum beer and Superbowl snacks

  1. I don’t know a whole lot about what makes something gluten free, but I know that most of the local beer in Burkina Faso is millet or sorghum based. To my knowledge, there’s really only one company in the capital city that bottles, though it doesn’t look like they export. However, if you find yourself in BF, you can get a liter bottle for about $1.20 or a liter of un-bottled local for $0.20.

  2. Ok, so now I’ve got a great reason to come visit you! As for gluten, it’s the protein in wheat— so gf beer is beer made with grains other than wheat (like millet, rice, sorghum.) Is the local beer all millet, or just millet based?

    • All the local beer I know of in BF is made with sorghum or millet. Though the reason I’m hesitant to say it’s (for sure) gluten free had to do with a quick internet search I performed before I posted. Under the guidelines for a gluten-free diet, I read that one should avoid (amongst other things) malt. I then proceeded to look up ‘malt’ and found that it was any cereal (presumably millet and sorghum included) that is allowed to germinate, and then dried. To my understanding, this is done with (perhaps all?) beer in order to get it to release sugars used for fermentation. Thus I’m still a bit hazy as to whether such beer is gluten-free even if it’s not based on wheat.

      Does that make any sense or am I just missing something obvious?

  3. The only thing you’re missing: gluten is only in the grains wheat, barely spelt and kamut. If a beer isn’t made with those grains, the beer doesn’t have gluten in it. So your millet and sorghum beer would be gf free, and also a great reason for me to visit!

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